This is undoubtedly the greatest love story ever written, spawning a host of imitators on stage and screen, including Leonard Bernstein's smash musical West Side Story and Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet filmed in 1968. A young man and woman meet by chance and fall instantly in love. But their families are bitter enemies, and in order to be together the two lovers must be prepared to risk everything. Set in a city torn apart by feuds and gang warfare, Romeo and Juliet is a dazzling combination of passion and hatred, bawdy comedy and high tragedy.
Illustrated throughout by Sir John Gilbert (1817–1897), famous for his depictions of historical scenes. As well as Shakespeare, he illustrated works of Sir Walter Scott, Cervantes, Wilkie Collins and Wordsworth. (hb)